Jon and Lindsay Yeager, founders of PourTaste, a cocktail creative consultancy based in Nashville, Tenn., recently released a book called “The Ultimate Guide to Beer Cocktails.” It offers a brief history of beertails, plus 50 custom recipes.
The Yeagers’ book proves that beer is a versatile ingredient. A beer cocktail can use any beer style, from a hazy and juicy IPA to a stout. Your best bet at home is to keep it simple, but from the classic Shandy (lager and lemonade) to a Mississippi Porter Punch (bourbon, Cognac, rum, bitters, Sam Smith Taddy Porter, and zest of orange, courtesy of the Yeagers), options abound.
With that in mind, we caught up with 10 brewers from around the U.S. to see what beer cocktails they’re drinking.
“Mint Kombucha Mojitio. We served [it] last year in the Taproom At 642 Rogers Ave. It is made from a base of Island to Island Brewery’s Mint Pale, House of Juice’s Guyanese Demerara Kombucha, a touch of Owney’s Rum, Doc Herson’s Mint Absinthe, and fresh slapped Brooklyn Mint. No need for extra sugar — this beer cocktail is perfectly malty and minty with extra booze! It’s so refreshing over ice. I love beer over ice, by the way.” — Danii Oliver, founder and brewer, Island to Island Brewery, Brooklyn, N.Y.
“Super Bee Racer. It’s one we make at our pub. 2 oz of batch: (1.5 oz Charbay R5 Whiskey, 0.5 oz Kina); 0.75 oz lemon juice; 0.75 oz orange honey syrup; 3 oz Racer 5 [IPA]. Hard shake and add 3 oz of Racer 5, then fine strain into pub pint glass, garnish with an orange wheel.” — Richard Norgrove Jr., COO and brewmaster, Bear Republic Brewing, Cloverdale, Calif.
“I’m a huge fan of the Bennet, a gin-based cocktail with a great citrus note. Double the gin and cut it with some pale ale or IPA and you get a smooth cocktail with complementary citrus and hop notes. You can do something similar with a Dark ‘n’ Stormy, my other fave.” — Merlin U. Ward, head brewer, Wartega Brewing, Brooklyn, N.Y.
“Jameson IPA Old Fashioned: ⅕ oz Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition, 2-3 dashes bitters, 1 sugar cube, 2-4oz Black Abbey 5 Points IPA. Serve over ice, garnish with grapefruit peel.
Jameson Caskmates IPA edition is Irish whiskey aged in IPA-cured craft beer barrels. The whiskey mixed with a hint of lemon/grapefruit citrus from the IPA barrel and just a hint of vanilla from the Jameson makes for a great cocktail on its own. Top it off with some 5 Points IPA to balance the sugar sweetness with a full-bodied IPA bitterness and some bright grapefruit/citrus aroma from the Citra and Amarillo hops and you have yourself a very fine cocktail indeed!” —Carl E. Meier, founder, The Black Abbey Brewing Company, Nashville, Tenn.
“Aviary Michelada with their fried chicken. In fact, you should go get it right now. Go! You’re wasting time not going.” — Augie Carton, co-founder, Carton Brewing, Atlantic Highlands, N.J.
“The ‘Black Flip,’ which consists of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Cruzan Black Strap Rum, Demerara syrup, and one whole egg garnished with grated nutmeg, [is an] absolute killer cocktail served at Please Don’t Tell in the Lower East Side.” — Sean Torres, co-owner, Kills Boro Brewing, Staten Island, N.Y.
“Current favorite is our Sunshine Gose with a nice silver tequila. All sorts of summer potential.” — Chris Goulet, president, Birdsong Brewing, Charlotte, N.C.
“At the moment, because I just tried this the other day, it’s a version of a Gordon’s Cup but with our Marble of Doom III [sour ale with kumquat and blood orange].” — Zack Kinney, co-founder and brew commander, Kings County Brewers Collective, Brooklyn, N.Y.
“The bartenders at Industry City Distillery once made a sort of Michelada situation with my lime pale ale, Naked Mike, [with] cayenne pepper and [a] pink rock salt rim. Summer brings about a ton of fruit beer cocktail opportunities!” — Katarina Martinez, Lineup Brewing, Brooklyn, N.Y.
“I don’t have one. I prefer my beer unadulterated. I believe in drinking a beer the way the brewer intended.” — Phil Markowski, co-founder and brewmaster, Two Roads Brewing, Stratford, Conn.